Do Compression Socks Help Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition affecting more than two million Americans yearly. It causes foot pain, often felt when a person walks, runs, or stands for a long time. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain and tenderness that start from the foot’s arch to your heel.
While it’s crucial to know plantar fasciitis symptoms, that is only the first step. The other challenge is to figure out how to relieve those symptoms and address the root cause of this problem.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCHIC), most people still experience symptoms even after taking plantar fasciitis medications. For this reason, many are turning to compression socks for plantar fasciitis. But do these socks bring fasciitis relief? Continue reading this article to answer that.
Understanding Plantar Fasciitis
If you have a medical condition, you must know its symptoms, causes, and how it affects you. For example, plantar fasciitis affects plantar fascia, a ligament in our foot. This ligament supports the foot’s arch and enables us to walk correctly. It usually fans out towards your toes, extending to the back of the heel.
It is designed to absorb shock and support walking. However, the ligament can break down due to wear and tear and daily pressure with time. In that case, it can be inflamed, resulting in pain and stiffness. In addition, you can experience sharp, dull, or you might also experience burning/arching.
The pain is usually prevalent in the morning since the plantar fascia is stagnant at night. However, you may also experience pain when sitting down for an extended period and then standing up.
How Compression Socks Help with Plantar Fasciitis
Compression socks are designed to prevent swelling in the foot and ankles. While they mainly treat varicose veins, plantar fasciitis patients may also benefit from them.
Here is How Fasciitis Compression Socks Work
Compression socks are designed to support the arch and heel. Although they don’t offer too much support compared to orthopedic insoles, wearing these socks can minimize pain in your foot.
If plantar fasciitis is left untreated, the pain can spread to your ankle. In that case, a person experiences severe ankle pain. Compression socks covering this area can help keep the pain localized while supporting your ankle. Additionally, wearing these socks frequently can prevent pain from spreading to other body parts.
Plantar fasciitis causes pain and inflammation. Thankfully, compression socks can help reduce swelling. If your feet are swelling, wearing these socks can prevent further inflammation and reduce damage to your ligament.
Plantar fasciitis also causes leg and foot cramps. This results from muscle tightening. Therefore, it becomes difficult to move. Wearing these socks can relieve and prevent these cramps, as they keep the muscles elongated.
Besides these, other benefits of wearing compression socks include improved blood flow and circulation and reduced muscle soreness.
Can I Wear Compression Socks?
Many people can benefit from wearing compression socks. However, this footwear is not recommended to everyone. In addition, compression socks compress your feet. Therefore, you need to be careful when wearing them to avoid additional problems.
People with certain conditions should avoid wearing compression socks. If you have poor blood circulation, diabetes, or peripheral vascular disease, please consult with a doctor first before purchasing these socks or foot compression sleeves.
But if you don’t have these conditions, you can wear compression socks and reap their benefits for plantar fasciitis.
When to Wear Compression Socks?
You shouldn’t wear compression socks all the time. As good as they are, there are do’s and don’ts when wearing them. Here are the best times to wear compression socks:
Compression socks are beneficial to people who spend long hours sitting. When we sit, fluid can travel down the feet and can cause the plantar fascia to swell or get inflamed as a result. Sadly, we don’t feel this process when it occurs. But you’ll notice it when you stand up and try to move your feet as they will be painful.
The right compression socks can help prevent pain from sitting for long and make walking easier. Make sure you choose a pair that offers a moderate compression level.
When Going to Bed:
Plantar fasciitis can cause pain at night. In that case, consider wearing compression socks when going to bed. Doing that helps reduce swelling. Thus, you’ll not experience pain from walking in the morning.
However, consider the pressure level when choosing compression socks to wear at night. Overly tight stockings can minimize the blood flow to your feet and leg when sleeping. This could result in numbness in the morning.
Plantar fasciitis pain mainly occurs when exercising. Therefore, wearing compression socks when exercising can help reduce arching and tenderness, making your workout comfortable.
But, please bear in mind that exercising can worsen inflammation on your plantar fascia, even when wearing compression socks. Always start with slow movements, and anytime you experience foot pain, allow your feet to rest. Also, remember to choose light and breathable compression socks for exercising.
We have addressed when to wear compression socks. So, when should you not wear them? That depends on an individual situation. However, experts advise that you remove your compression socks immediately you start experiencing numbness or discomfort or any worsening pain/discomfort.
How to Choose the Best Compression Socks for Plantar Fasciitis?
When choosing the best compression socks for you, the first thing to think about is how much pressure you want against your heel. And this decision is usually influenced by the time you plan on wearing your compression socks mostly.
Note that compression socks come in different levels; mild, moderate, firm, and extra firm compression. Many people with plantar fasciitis benefit from socks offering mild or moderate compression levels. However, as we are all different, experiment on different pressure levels to see what works.
Another thing to consider is the size you need. The size of compression socks influences the benefits you will get. When they are too tight, they may cause additional problems. However, too loose compression socks don’t provide that much help.
Also, consider the thickness, how sturdy the stitching is, and the sweat-wicking abilities of the socks. Lastly, find out the care instructions for your socks. Do they require hand washing? Or can you throw them in the machine? If they’re designed specifically for handwashing, please don’t wash them in the laundry machine as they won’t last long.
Compression socks can help relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms. However, to get the most benefits, please choose the right size for you. In addition, you can combine them with other home treatments like massage, icing, and over-the-counter pain relief medication.
The advice given on this website does not constitute or replaces medical advice.
Please consult with a doctor before starting any exercise or nutrition plan.
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